Play with a purpose


Scented Epsom salts or foaming bath soak salts or fine colored sand
Chopsticks, straws, spoons, funnel
Cookie cutters - Simple shapes work best.
Cookie sheet or plastic tray, plastic dish pan or snap tight storage box


  • Sort the items inside the tray. For example: have 2 of each item tossed into the tray and have participant match the items by moving them together with the straw or chopstick.
  • Create two trays of scented salts and blindfold the participant, guide them to draw in the salts and have them guess which scent they are using (without looking at the color of the salts).
  • Have participants write their name in the tray of salts
  • Hide items under the salts (make deep enough for covering items). See how long it takes to find the items.
  • Supervise the participants to use their hands/fingers to move the salts around in the tray or bowl. Have a bowl of warm water available to rinse hands after enjoying the soothing scents and tactile experience.


Purchase bag of Epsom salts. Various scents are encouraged. Optional: use fine colored sand (often found in Dollar Tree type stores) and add a layer of the scented Epsom salts
Pour desired amount into bowl, tray or pan
Provide various items to place into the tray of salts
Utilize straw or chopstick to draw in the salts or just move the salts and items around in the tray. 

Calming Lavender Drawing Tray


  • Tactile exploration
  • Olfactory experience
  • Sorting, matching, counting
  • Following directions
  • Problem solving
  • Relaxation
  • Choice making